We don’t need another Alang – Save Kakinada

Greenpeace calls for abandoning ship-breaking yard at Kakinada

Feature story - April 8, 2005
HYDERABAD, India — Even as Greenpeace activists in Europe began toxic patrols to prevent export of single hull tankers to Asian beaches for breaking, Greenpeace India activists confronted the Andhra Pradesh Government at the secretariat in Hyderabad today, demanding that the state government abandon their plans of setting up ship-breaking yards in Kakinada. If permitted, the new ship-breaking yard will devastate the livelihood of the local fishermen, pollute the pristine beaches and destroy the mangrove forest of Coringa.

Greenpeace activists in skeleton suits hold up banners depicting toxic contamination at Alang and Patancheru. The activists are calling on the AP Government to Save Kakinada, and reject a proposal to build a new ship-breaking yard on this pristine beach.

ACT NOW: Join the Campaign to save Kakinada Beach! Local fishing families need your help.

Holding banners depicting death and destruction in the existent ship-breaking yards in Alang, Gujarat and the impacts of toxic pollution in Patancheru, the skeleton-suited activists called on the Government to 'SAVE KAKINADA' and demanded 'No Alang at Kakinada, No Patancheru at Kakinada'. The activists were arrested and subsequently released.

The proposal for the new yard comes in the wake of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) decision to phase out all single-hulled oil tankers on April 5th 2005, which would substantially increase the number of ships headed to the shipbreaking yards of Asia. The unscrupulous ship-breaking community of Gujarat is looking for new areas to start their business as they are finding it difficult to comply with recently introduced strict guidelines at Alang to protect the environment and ensure safety of their workers.

"The AP Government has already demonstrated its inability to control the pollution and related impacts of the unregulated chemical industry in Medak district. There is also indisputable evidence from Alang of the enormous impact of the toxic chemicals that are discharged from a ship-breaking yard," said Ramapati Kumar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India, "By opening a new ship-breaking yard at Kakinada, the government will only be inviting a new chemical crisis into Andhra Pradesh, and exposing 200,000 people and the environment, to deadly toxic chemicals. On behalf of activists around the world who have sent thousands of emails to the Chief Minister, we're here to say 'Bahut Ho Gaya, we don't want another toxic hotspot in Andhra Pradesh!'"

"The people of Kakinada will go to any extent to ensure that a new ship-breaking yard does not come up in this sensitive and fragile environment," said Dr. Mrs. T. Rajyalakshmi, President of the Society for Promotion of Integrated Coastal Area Management (SPICAM), "Ship-breaking activities are a real threat - they are bound to affect the livelihood of fishermen, could change the topography of Hope Island and irreversibly contaminate the mangrove forest which provides natural protection to Kakinada. We must ensure that the greed of the government and the industry is not allowed to supersede good sense."

Act now: send an email together with the Kakinada fishermen!

You can help save the beaches and mangroves of Kakinada. Read the testimonies of the fisherman's families and join them in protesting against the shipbreaking plans. Send an e-mail to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and to the transport ministers of the European Union!


Kakinada facts and figures

Shipbreaking in Kakinada

Mangrove forests

Read the testimonies of the fishermen's families

For photographs and video footage of the protest, please contact: Ramapati Kumar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India: +919845535414

Namrata Chowdhary, Media Officer: +919810850092